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Sunday September 24, 2017
Edmonds hat trick gives Hunters the Points

Ingol Rangers (red) v Hunters - Premier Division


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There was an understandable frisson of anticipation at UCLan Sports Arena this morning ahead of the premier division game between Ingol Rangers and Hunters, the top two clubs in the division. Hunters, the reigning league champions, arrived at Cottam with a 100% record and they expected this to be their sternest test to date and so it proved.

Some people are prone to taking a whimsical view of the league and harp back to the good old days when “the teams were much stronger and there were better players around”. Were they really? - OK we have had some top teams, The Piper, Lisieux Hall, the legendary Forrest Arms. Arkwrights, AFC Lostock Hall and most recently AFC Ingol who all won multiple competitions including the biggest prize of all, the LFA Sunday Trophy.

But that view shows scant respect for today’s teams and especially for these two clubs who are well organised and well-disciplined and both have first class managers in Dean Crossen at Ingol Rangers and Dave “Dixie” Dawson at Hunters plus their respective backroom teams.

The game started at a fast and furious pace, going from end to end and it was difficult decide who had the upper hand before Dee Edmonds pounced on some sloppy Ingol defensive work in the 26th minute to finish as he does so often in quite ruthless fashion. Did the Ingol heads drop, they did not and they were level less than a minute later when Seydou Bamba smashed a loose ball past keeper Danny Roccia.

Three minutes later Ingol Rangers were ahead through Zac Wilkes only for Reece Fishwick to level matters on 32 minutes and then Mr Reliable Lee Ashcroft popped up on 37 minutes to put Rangers ahead for a second time and give them an interval 3-2 lead.

The second half was just four minutes old when Dee Edmonds was on hand to net for Hunters and level matters at 3-3 and that was followed by a long period of intense pressure from both teams which was only broken by the award of an undisputed penalty by referee Barry Cropp to Hunters on 72 minutes which Edmonds converted to complete his hat trick. All that remained was for Hunters Andy Richards to complete the scoring with the goal of the game, a thunderous shot from outside the area to make the final score 5-3 to Hunters.

The crowd of over 200 were treated to a superb game by two excellent sides and the match was extremely well handled by top referee Barry Cropp and his Assistants Mark Moore and Phil Ryan.

Elsewhere in the premier division AFC Ingol beat Ashton Villa 5-2, Bamber Bridge United beat Springfields 3-1 and Acregate Lane LC got their first win of the season beating Ashton on Ribble 4-2. Warton won 4-2 at AFC Longridge in division 1 and Southport & Ainsdale Amateurs celebrated playing their first home game by beating Whittle Wanderers 5-1. The only game in division 2 saw Gregson Lane beat Leyland Orient 7-0 whilst in division 3 Sir Tom Finney beat BAE Warton, Waverley Park won 4-1 at Lostock Hall and Fishwick Rangers drew 4-4 with Tarleton Corinthians.

Tanterton completed their outstanding LFA Sunday Trophy 2nd round tie by winning 8-0 at Standish Park Rangers and they now have a trick home tie against Crown Paints (Blackburn) in round 3. Arkwrights won 5-0 at Leyland Athletic and they can now look forward to a 3rd round game away to Hunters.

AFC Fylde beat Highfield Grange 1-0 in their 1st round LFA U18s Cup match, in round 2 Appley Bridge Reds lost 4-2 at Atherton Town, BAE Warton beat Euxton Villa 2-0, Fleetwood Park Rangers won 6-2 at Broughton Amateurs, Lostock St Gerards won 5-1 at Midway, Padiham had an excellent 3-2 home win against AFC Darwen and Winstanley Warriors beat Coppull United 6-5 on penalties after the scores were level on 2-2 at full time.

The Syndicate Trust Presidents Cup 1st round ties saw wins for Bolton Lads & Girls Club against Kingsfold, Fulwood Park Rangers beat Westhoughton 4-2, Penwortham Town beat Walton Athletic 3-2, Vernon Sports won at Ribbleton Wanderers, Preston Victoria won 2-1 at Walton, Gregson Lane Wanderers won 4-1 at Worden Rangers and Tulketh United beat Wyresdale Rangers 7-2.

Round up and photos by Eamonn McNamara.




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